Day 2 of our maiden voyage began with the realization that it was REALLY windy. Like 30-40 mph sustained gusts. Not the ideal towing weather but we had places to go and we were going to be on state roads not interstates so we decided to give it a shot. I noticed that one of the roof vents was not tightening down all the way and with the wind, I knew that something needed to be done. But, I could not figure out how to tighten it down. (I have since learned that you can find a YouTube video for ANYTHING.)
I thought since the nice owner had helped me the night before with my water, surely he’d help me again. We stopped by the office as we were heading out of the park. As luck would have it the office was closed. It was Sunday and everyone was headed for church. Well, we had duct tape from the day before so I thought I’d climb up the ladder on the back of the RV and tape the vent down until I could get it fixed. I’m a bit accident prone so climbing the ladder was iffy at best. I managed to climb the ladder but the wind was so relentless that I couldn’t bring myself to actually make the last rungs to get on top of the RV–it’s scarier than you think! I tried to reach the vent with pieces of duct tape but again, the wind was not cooperating. As it turns out the owner had not left for church and I assume that he didn’t want to return from church to find some middle aged lady lying in a crumpled heap in front of his office so he came out and managed to tighten the vent. (Tip-either tape your vent crank so they don’t work themselves open during towing or put in vent pillows to hold the cranks in place.)
We headed west on Highway 412 which passes through some of the most uninteresting scenery ever. The wind was constant but everything was going well. We drove past miles and miles and miles of farmland, no towns, nothing. All of a sudden, the truck slowed to about 35 mph and would not go any faster. Great, we’re in the middle of nowhere and what to do? Kara called my son who searched for an answer online. He said that maybe the filter needed to be reset and we should drive for about 30 minutes at 35 mph and 2500 rpm. That is exactly what the truck was doing but it had no particulate filter (discussed in an earlier post about sleazy used truck dealers.) Maybe there is a sensor that thinks it has a filter or something? Heck, I don’t know but we’re in the middle of nowhere with nothing in site so I guess we’ll keep driving.
Then there was a pop. Ok, here’s a farm road, I’ll just pull over and open the hood because that’s what you do. I’m not sure what I’m going to do once I open the hood but I know that is what you do! Did I mention it is VERY windy? I opened the hood and oil blew everywhere. All over the windshield, down the side of the trailer. Awesome. Even I know this is bad. Just then a man and his wife pulled up. This very handsome cowboy with his pressed western shirt and pressed jeans got out to help me. He suggested I put more oil in and limp to the Love’s Truck Stop which was only a mile down the road. He even took off his nicely pressed shirt to help me pour oil in. I had extra oil and he had a jug as well. Thank God for that man.
We made it to the Love’s Truck Stop in Boise City, OK. (Pronounced Boice City and it was the heart of the dust bowl. In other words, there is no reason to ever visit this place.) I got someone to look at it and he just shook his head and said, that’s just blown. So, I did what any one would do in this situation, I cried. I then pulled myself together and we came up with a plan. I have AAA with coverage for my RV so, I’d just call and someone can tow us to Amarillo (125 miles) to the Chevy dealer and we’ll just deal with it. So, we put in the call to AAA and now we wait. Kara was opening to door of the truck to go in and ask the Love’s Manager if it is ok that we are parking in their truck lot while we wait for the tow. Did I mention it was windy? The wind caught the door and sprung the hinges so now the truck door won’t close. Good thing we had that duct tape. Kara fashioned a rope out of duct tape to wrap through the handle and then around the back door handle. It wasn’t completely closed but at this point, did it matter?
We had several fine dining choices to choose from: Subway and Pizza Hut. I hate both. But, a friend had given me a 6 pack of Happy Camper beer (I was not a HC at this point) and Kara bought a pack of cigarettes because we had pictures to stage. What else can you do? You just have to laugh. So, I had my VERY bad hair day, seriously the wind was relentless; my dog; beer; cigarettes and a tumble weed. She told me to pose like the Migrant Mother pic. The original and my reenactment. Uncanny.
After about 8 hours, AAA informed me that no one would tow me due to the wind. Well, I guess I live at Love’s now. The kind couple from earlier in the day stopped by to check on us. I told them our predicament and he said he knew there was a trailer park just a few block away and we could get a semi wrecker to tow the truck and the trailer there. The tow truck driver had the personality of the Grinch but he hooked up the truck. Dexter and I were in the front seat and Kara in the back. As we’re being towed, Dexter moved and leaned against the door (you know, the door that is held closed by a duct tape rope) and I pulled it back just in case the tape didn’t hold. I hear from the back seat in a wistful voice “remember that time when the truck blew up and we were in the truck with the trailer attached being towed by a semi wrecker and Dexter almost fell out the door? Good times.” God, I love that kid.
Lesson 3: Some people go out of their way to be kind. I love Love’s. Duct tape; Red Green has been right all along. (Red Green was a PBS show and duct tape played a large role.)